More customer service failures

You would think trying to open a bank account and deposit money would be easy but no. You can go the Alliance and Leicester website, loads of information about how good the service is, how much you will save and what the benfits of the service are, but you cannot apply on line or download any forms you have to speak to someone!!!.  Well after holding for an hour and three attempts you finally get to speak to someone who is very helpful and says they will send the forms.

The thing is I did this three days ago and the forms never arrived, so here we are trying to deposit money and open a new bank account and the customer facing processes are stalling the business from acquiring customers. to make matters worse the music on hold and the swee talking voice of the on hold system tells you that you can download the forms from the website but they are no where to be found.  When you speak to your vey capable customer representative he tells you that the forms are no longer there and they have repeatedly asked their marketing people to change the message.

What’s this all cost British businesses. The government have added a notional value to peoples time spent wasted in process at about an average of £13 an hour.  do the maths if there is this level of latency in the system for one person what does it all add up to for British business and lets not assume we are the worst in the world, so its in the trillions basically

Watching someone be unstable is not fun

I am living with someone who is loving, kind and helpful, except when they are tired, hungry or under pressure. Its not fun and i am trying a variety of approaches to protect myself and others from the experience. Remaining calm in spite of the outbursts, unreasonable behaviour and hurtful things almost seems to make it worse.

The fundamental issues from my perspective are that they seem to

  1. Need to blame someone else for the situation they are in
  2. Cannot see their own contribution to the situation
  3. Fail to see how immature they are being
  4. Be destructive
  5. Unable to calm down

But give it an hour or so and they are back to a lovely person and seemingly contrite about their outburst, but if you try and get them to discuss it and reflect on it in any meaningful sense it causes huge defensiveness and the risk of it going off again, there is always exscuses and reasons, hardest week, hardest day, unusual situation.

My worry is what should I do, it is depressing me, affecting others and I it is affecting someone I love

Some companies just get it so wrong Home Counties Pub Restuarants

It never ceases to disappointment how so many companies make poor decisions about the customer relationships. We have seen it with people like Egg and there culling of card members who did not run up debts and paid of their accounts every month. They tried to suggest it was because they had reviewed their risk profile, implying people were too high a risk, instead of the truth of being no risk at all.  They scored a bad own goal and were royally chastised everywhere including the house of commons and a few legal letters to boot.

On a lesser basis we see it happening all the time. just look at the letter below to Home Counties Pub Restaurants in response to letter they sent out to customer who hold a loyalty discount card.  simply appalling.  When will people learn.

Dear Mr Price

I am receipt of your letter today, it is undated and I think tells me that Bluebeckers and Edwinns have been sold, but not sure. I think the real purpose of the letter is to tell me as of the 1st of October 2010 some 20 days ago you changed the terms of your Gold Card scheme which in effect renders it completely useless to me and my family given our location.

As someone who has made a successful business out of advising clients on customer relationships amongst other things I am frankly disappointed in your approach for the following reasons
  1. The letter relates to something that happended 20 days ago – a little bit late don’t you think
  2. It does not say who Graham Price is
  3. Your approach is in my opinion full of spin and diversion to mask your true intent which is to render the cards useless
    1. It be better to have said it as a scheme is no long economically viable and thank me for my custom and express a desire that we would keep on coming to your establishment
  4. If I wished to be cynical I could imagine you did some data analysis discovered which of your restuarants had no gold card holders living near by and selected those for the scheme to remain active in with no fear of you being hit with discount request.
    1. I hope you have not sent different letters to people based on their location as it would be I suspect in flys in the face of a numeber best practice and possible laws by in effect selecting different venues for different customers based on their location just to avoid claims using the card.
  5. The suggestion that further changes in your menu are a good thing leave me cold. We lived for many years with declining standards at the Bluebeckers in xxxxxx called xxxxxxxxx which were remedied by moving it out the Bluebeckers brand and a major refurbishment.
    1. The staff and menu now are excellent
    2. You may be interested to know that many feel it is a little over priced and a little cramped due to what people suspect is a desire on your part to pack in as many covers in as possible.
Please do not be under any illusion that your communication has achieved anything positive for me or my family. I have scanned in the letter and will now use it as an example when lecturing and running courses of what I personally believe is a sign of contempt for me as a customer and a disregard for good customer relationship.
The local pub up the way from you has just re-opened, I think I will cancel my Friday reservation and go there instead. I can assure when asked about the xxxxxxxxx I will say staff and food good company running it do not in my opinion understand how to build and maintain good customers relationships

Missing the moment – Carpe diem

I find that I need to blog post at the moment of thinking about a thing, I have installed the iPhone App to help me do this but I found this week there were three of four moments when I need to either vent, reflect or express myself and either failed to act due to pressure of time commitments or circumstance.

What would i have blogged about but missed the moment?

An encounter with my beloved but eccentric wife who is at the mercy of her biorythms, emotions and in my view fatigue and blood sugar levels. As much as I know what the underlying causes of her disappointing behaviour I find it hard to tolerate it as it in my view is a sign of immaturity not to manage ones own emotions and behaviours.

Frustrations with work ethic of other people who talk a lot and don’t deliver either because they lack to organisational or technical skills to execute those activities they have taken on.  I prefer to be planned and organised and seek to be proactive about what needs to be done and seek to ensure people are competent and offer them the ability to ask for help well in advance of deadlines.  Frustrations comes when you are two weeks down the line with the deadline approaching and the reality of a situation is declared with people finally admitting they do not know how to do something. If that was not bad enough it is compounded by people who step in to supposedly fix the situation but in fact no even less and all they do is make gestures but do not fix it.

Inspiration – I went to an event during the weekend that i have been thinking about doing for a long while. I really enjoyed it, found a sense of peace and inspiration. I hope to go again and explore further.

Saddness – Having had a few hours off from responsibilities of a family nature to have it thrown back in my face by my wife as part of a self centered moan and nag about her needs which frankly are fully supported to the expense of other things.

Integrity – Standing up for a mature approach to situations and working calmly through the juvenile and petulant behaviour of my beloved.

X Factor – Talent vs Commercial potential

It seems to be that each year the X Factor moves much like Big Brother into a formulaic way of working. The commercial potential of the artist seems to be more important than their ability to sing and perform.  I guess some officianado will lambast me for simply not getting that the X Factor is exactly about commercial potential.

Well for me the X Factor is the hairs standing up on the back of my neck and a well of emotional reaction to a performance. Those things do not happen for me unless someone can sing with their heart and soul and critically in tune.

I will continue to watch in the hope of inspiration but for me this year since the departure of Gamu their is no one that has inspired me with the exception of Mary Byrne sing soul mama sing and just now Treyc, effortless and flawless.